Yunlong Mountain Meditation Hotel / gad
Text description provided by the architects. Usually, the particularity and complexity of the site also constitute the front label of the building. This design object is the Yunlong Mountain Meditation Hotel, Xuzhou, which is located on the axis of worshiping Buddha in Xinghua Temple. It has a natural tranquil atmosphere and a superior landscape vision. The operator hopes that the hotel can provide accommodation and commercial support for the worshiping Buddha meditation guests. Under this background, our intervention strategy for this site is to first consider following the original environment, then integrating into it, and finally creating a new “order”.
The site, “Stitch the gap between the ancient temple and the city. “The site is located in the north extension of Taishan Road in Xuzhou, at the foot of Yunlong Mountain. There are many historical sites and abundant landscape resources around it. The west side is adjacent to Xinghua Temple, the entrance square of an ancient temple, and Xiayuandun Museum on the south side, and the east and north sides are adjacent to the planned creative block across the street. The mountains and cities on both sides of the plot are in a chaotic state of separation. Precious historical sites in the site are also unavoidable objects in the design: Xinghua Temple, which was first built in the Tang Dynasty and one of the eight ancient temples in Xuzhou, is located on Yunlong Mountain and is a Zen Buddhist temple. The location of the meditation hotel occupies the gap between the ancient temple and the city, similar to the “Viewing Station” connecting the preceding and the following, and has multiple perspectives of tradition and modernity. The Buddha Culture Square at the foot of the mountain is based on the lotus flower, a typical symbol of Buddhism. The vertical dimension of the square is 16 meters away from the entrance of Xinghua Temple and 60 meters away from the three emperor palaces at the top of the mountain. It makes use of the terrain to gather people’s popularity, and at the same time serves as a guide and sign. As the common entrance of meditation and Xinghua Temple, it serves as a venue for Buddhist culture festivals and also eases the interface conflict with urban roads.
Secular Life and Monastic Life “At the foot of the mountain is earthly daily life, and on the mountain is a meditation site.” Through multi-dimensional analysis of the characteristics of the surrounding environment, the spatial planning basis of “Zen” above and “normality” below is obtained. The foot of the mountain is earthly daily, accommodating commercial blocks, cultural exhibitions, etc., and traces of Zen temples on the mountain, emphasizing stability, relaxation and perception. From bottom to top, the environment forces the mood to change from moving to static. The positioning of the hotel with the theme of “meditation” is in line with the nature of the venue. Under this conceptual framework, we actively seek and respond to the millennium axis order of Xinghua Temple, and create a path from “secular life to monastic life”. The main entrance is located near Xinghua Temple on the west side, on Yundong Erdao Street, which is relatively quiet, and the entrance is opposite to Shanxi Hall across the street. The second entrance is located on Yundong Road on the east side of the plot, which is relatively open, echoing the demand of worshiping Buddha on holidays. On the way into the hotel, from the outside to the inside, complete a “cleaning” of body, mind, and distractions.
Old and New Order “Four modern attics form a new spatial order. “The form and function of the space are still in accordance with the principle of “Routine under, Zen on”, and respond to the original environment as much as possible with a pitching attitude. Four modern attics form a new spatial “order”. The prototype comes from the traditional attics, pagodas, and palaces, echoing Xinghua Temple on the mountain. The interior is the core functional space, namely the Great Zen Hall, the Vegetarian Canteen, the Zhike Hall, and the Squatter’s Foyer. Others are used as hotel squatter rooms, ancillary businesses, and other functions. The secret eaves of symbols come from the modern translation of “Ge”, which is square and regular in form, gradually retracted and folded. “Ge” is the core space of meditation, and the cornice can control the angle of light and indoor illumination according to the needs of meditation. The light in the space undoubtedly needs to be restrained, which not only meets the functional requirements but also belongs to the spontaneous expression of the spatial characteristics of meditation. Deliberately compressed on a small scale, the hotel shack emphasizes the quietness and concentration of the senses, the interior is connected with six courtyards, and other courtyards of different sizes define different spaces, creating a progressive sense of depth. The setting of a narrow courtyard implies an inward package and short stay and is equipped with a waterscape, green plants, a dry landscape, and bonsai with oriental images.
Material Language is “the unity of material characteristics and spatial imagination.” Putting wooden structures in modern architecture can successfully create the experience of overlapping ancient and modern time and space, taking into account the needs of integrating into the environment, abstracting and refining the images of “far-reaching” and “cornices and corners” of traditional attics, and forming a new type of eaves that gets rid of the limitations of traditional ideas. The wooden structure language is also used in the roofs and entrance canopies of public core spaces such as Zen Hall, Vegetarian Canteen, Zhike Hall, and the reception area of hotel squatters. It is not only a load-bearing component, but also a decorative component, and integrates indoor and outdoor vision. In terms of organization and expression, the wooden structure pays attention to strewn-at-random sequence and simple texture, mortise, tenon, lap joint, and modern technology of glued wood, which conforms to the stress principle and simple visual sense, and keeps the unity of material characteristics and spatial image. The facade and part of the walls are made of sandstone and Huanggang rock, creating a typical modern Zen space.
Traditional order is constantly impacted by modern concepts, and its breaking and reconstruction symbolize vitality. However, the humble integration and restrained expression make the architecture break away from the creative limitations of individual consciousness, fully absorb the environmental characteristics, and achieve a smart place for conveying the spirit and interactive dialogue.